Service Changes – November Nationwide Lockdown
You will no doubt be aware that the new Government Lockdown was announced on Saturday 31st October and will take effect from the 5th November and last until to 2nd December 2020. This could possibly be extended according to some media reports.
It is important that everyone at Ashton Pioneer Homes (APH) does everything we can to support the Government locally and nationally by helping to minimise risk and reduce transmission rates. It is also important we do everything we can to keep customers and colleagues safe whilst safeguarding our service.
From Thursday 5th November APH will deliver an “Essential Housing Service” only during this new lockdown period.
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. Some public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:
- NHS and medical services like GPs.
- Jobcentre Plus sites
- Civil Registrations Offices
APH Offices will remain closed and all colleagues that can work from home will be doing so. All office-based staff have been equipped with laptops to access APH IT system. We do recognise that to deliver an effective housing service, some colleagues may need to attend the office from time to time, however, this will be kept to an absolute minimum.
Our Customer Services colleagues will be working remotely but they can answer the phones and update our computer system. They will be making courtesy calls to our most vulnerable residents and they will be in constant dialogue with colleagues across the organisation digitally. They will also be working closely with the volunteers at the West End Mutual Aid (WEMA) group to co-ordinate support to those tenants that may need some additional help.
APH will still be delivering a Maintenance Service with only essential repairs being actioned during the lockdown period. All non-essential repairs will be recorded on to our system and will be actioned as soon as possible after the current lockdown is relaxed.
The Housing Management Team will also be working remotely and will be contacting residents via the telephone or via e-mail. Any empty properties will have void works carried out safely (with PPE and Covid precautions) but will not be let to new tenants until after the lockdown period unless it is by special arrangement with the Local Authority.
You will be comforted to learn that, as they did during the first lockdown, our Neighbourhood Services colleagues will continue to provide our 24/7 neighbourhood service. However, they will be carrying out essential services only. This will still involve CCTV, concierge and existing cleaning and run-down schedules. They will not be visiting residents’ homes unless it is in an emergency.
I understand that this is not the news we wanted to hear but we have all shown that as a community we can respond and pull together to make it work for our local residents and the communities we serve. We are proud to have worked with and supported the WEMA volunteers and their efforts of residents in supporting their neighbours.
The Board and Senior Management Team are extremely grateful and very proud of the way our APH colleagues have risen to the difficult challenges we have faced. We particularly want to thank all the APH colleagues classed as “Essential Workers” who will be delivering these essential services in and around residents’ homes during the lockdown period.
We will of course be keeping residents informed of any issues via social media and we will keep notice boards in and around the estate updated. Residents can of course call our normal telephone lines if they have any queries.
Thank you for your patience and continued support.